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After the Flood -- Sukth, Albania

Posted by Brian Jose on

“We have captured the situation.”  Franceska, the first believer in Sukth village, used this Albanian expression about the aftermath of the recent flood. The fine mud left everywhere -- in houses, ovens, the motors of washing machines and refrigerators, on clothes and bedding -- has been cleaned up in a flurry of work.  Now remains the long, slow drying out and re-organizing process. A few months of hot, dry weather would help, but it is winter.

Despite this initial clean-up, the devastating impact of the flood lingers. People have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Miri and Tina are a couple in the Radstock member church there. They live with Miri’s elderly father in a small, simple house built during the communist era.  When the flood arrived, Miri carried his father to safety on his back through ankle deep water. A few minutes later, when he returned to salvage possessions, the water was up to his waist. He and Tina lost almost everything. Their house is not habitable -- honestly, it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Likewise, Flora, a widow with two teenaged sons and a small used clothing shop, took a heavy loss both to her house and business.  

Arvid Gogaj, who oversaw the planting of the church in Sukth, has interrupted his preparation for a new church plant in Durrës to help. He has been in the village most days with his boots on and mud on his hands. He has used the funds gathered through the Radstock appeal to buy washing machines, refrigerators, water pumps, voltage stabilizers (an essential for rural Albanian homes), and basic furniture. Bana, a believer in the church, cried when Arvid arrived with a washing machine to replace the one destroyed by the invasive mud. “I can’t believe that people love me even down to this detail,” she said. Local Christians in the Durrës church have done countless loads of laundry to help salvage what hasn’t been ruined. However, a lot of the furniture has absorbed water and is literally falling apart.

Arvid is working individually with church families to help them get back on their feet. So far, about £5,000 ($7,500) has been collected via Radstock churches and donors. We are considering how to help the worst affected. $17,000 or £11,000 buys all the materials to rebuild a house. We are exploring options.

Please pray, and thank you for giving to your brothers and sisters in need. As I mentioned when preaching to them recently, “little Sukth is known all over the world — people are praying for you.” It means a lot to these believers, many of whom are new in their faith. Thank you!


Tags: albania, flood, sukth, giving, prayer


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